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1 item from 2002

The Gentleman Bandit

21 March 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Trying to lure one in with the prospect of watching a criminal-turned-actor playing a bank robber, "The Gentleman Bandit" (aka "Gentleman B".) is a hapless low-budget indie. It will have a rough time conning even a handful of moviegoers into paying to see what amounts to minimal entertainment with nothing to recommend it.

In the millionth cinematic tale of a thief wanting to go straight, "Bandit" opens with an endless MTV-aping credit sequence that sets up the story of Nick (Charlie Mattera), who is betrayed and sent to prison for a significant stretch. When he gets out, he heads for Los Angeles seeking his old girlfriend (Justine Miceli), but she long ago drifted into the arms of Nick's former partner in crime, Manny (Peter Greene).

A moderate sociopath who has married and then split with Nick's former sweetheart, Manny has become a cop and takes a lot of interest in what his old pal is up to. For audience-sympathizing reasons that are hardly ironclad, Nick learns the art of bank-robbing from semi-retired con man Harry (Ed Lauter).

What follows is a muddled, unsatisfying homage to well-behaved rogues who charm the pants off their victims while picking their pockets. One of the chief victims of Nick's polite approach to larceny is Ryan O'Neal as a bank manager. The most abused victims are the viewers, who are given no real romance, danger or excitement to fall back on when Mattera ("Love and Happiness") fails to beguile or even play a coherent character. While the film claims to be based on his real underworld experiences, it has no special insights into the minds of crooks.

Director Jordan Alan ("Kiss and Tell") tries to jolt the film to life with music-fueled montages, but the dialogue and performances are sub-par and one waits in vain for the film to justify its existence.


Pathfinder Pictures

Director: Jordan Alan

Screenwriters: Charlie Mattera, Mark Petracca

Producers: Douglas Hunter, Fred Joyal, Meta A. Puttkammer

Cinematographer: Jordan Alan

Production designer: Naython Vane

Music: Larry Groupe

Casting: Ferne Cassel, David Glazner



Nick: Charlie Mattera

Maria: Justine Miceli

Harry: Ed Lauter

Manny: Peter Greene

Bank manager: Ryan O'Neal

Running time -- 92 minutes

No MPAA rating


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